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If ever a conflicting topic needed a clearinghouse for all of the different rants, raves and theories, it would be the issue of “going green.” The co-founder of Wikipedia and Wikia, Jimmy Wales, hopes to crowdsource the discussion of “greenness” and has launched a green section of Wikia. Wales tells us he is looking to create a go-to repository of crowd-vetted environmental information that will serve as a starting point for anyone looking to learn more about sustainable lifestyles.
Wales says he didn’t create green Wikia so much to fulfill his passion for green living, but more to help deliver the truth of eco-info, which he says is sorely lacking: “I’m really passionate about having objective information in this area. It is really hard to get clear information on green issues.”
The site has six main, and pretty ambiguous, content areas: How To Guides, Go Local, The Green Movement, Sustainable Living, Environmental issues, and Green Science and technology. According to the site’s mission statement, Green Wikia is different from Wikipedia because it is focused on actionable items, more accessible to the average reader and written from a “green point of view.”
All the same qualms academics have with Wikipedia apply here, which could be especially dangerous for Green Wikia as so many seemingly cut-and-dry scientific conventions have been misconstrued in the public sphere. Meanwhile, corporate interests have mangled many a Wikipedia entry, like ExxonMobil editing the Valdez entry.
Beyond all the well-intentioned posturing, the site seems to abuse all the same old eco-buzz words and jargon. However, we’re waiting for the site to attract a tenacious user base eager to edit, amend and update. As purveyors of cleantech and “green”-related news, we know first-hand that Internet commenters have no fear of posting their eco-thoughts of varying veracity. Just make sure to check out the entry on “greenwashing” first.